Archive for December, 2014


Connecting on the Court – Pioneer Pride Shone Strong


After it’s all said and done, the game of basketball is just that — a game.

When you have a talent and have the chance to share your gift with someone who isn’t able to do all of the things you are capable of, taking advantage of the opportunity can be life-changing for everyone involved.

The Zane Trace boys basketball team had the chance Monday to share an afternoon with the Pioneer Center’s Tigers basketball team. For the Tigers, a team made up of young adults with developmental disabilities, the sharing made Monday a truly special afternoon.

Read the full story here.


-Story and Photos Courtesy of The Chillicothe Gazette


Former Pioneer Student Pens Children’s Book


Pictured: Allison Shoemaker (right) stands next to Pioneer Center Communications Director, Patrick McFadden (left), for a post-interview snapshot.

What began as a college writing assignment for a Chillicothe native, has ended up becoming a published children’s book.

Her studies are what put Allison Shoemaker on the path to becoming a published author.

Diagnosed with autism as a child, Shoemaker attended school at the Pioneer Center in Ross County before moving on to the Chillicothe City School System, and then on to college at Ohio University. That’s where she first penned “Mr. Rooster and His Magic Hammer”.

Read the rest of the article here!


OPI DD Month 2015 Materials Now Available



Ohio Public Images has announced the theme for its 2015 awareness campaign – Can Do Like You!  The annual campaign is designed to help create positive awareness of persons with developmental disabilities. Artwork, posters, t-shirts and other products to help promote your awareness efforts will be ready to ship on January 2. Please visit the Ohio Public Images website for more information




We here at the Pioneer Center are extra excited for this year’s posters as one features a student who attends the Pioneer School!




Gift Wrapping Opportunity

When you wrap a present does it look like a jumbled mess or do you simply hate to wrap presents? Well you’re in luck!  First Capital Day Hab is providing gift wrapping services at Elder Beerman during the next 2 weeks from 10:00a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

They will be there until Friday, December 19, so if you know of anyone that needs a little help, they will be happy to do so.

This is a donation-based service. Suggested donations range from $1 to $5 depending on the size of the package. Elder Beerman is providing all the materials, so any money earned goes toward our Day Hap projects.


Pioneer Superintendent Rick Marriott Receives the Kenneth Legats Award for Visionary Leadership

Longtime leader of the Pioneer Center, Superintendent Rick Marriott, was honored today at Ohio Association of County Board’s 31st Annual Convention at the Hilton Columbus at Easton. Mr .Marriott was selected as the winner for the Kenneth Legats Award for Visionary Leadership in Administration.

The Board of Trustees of the Ohio Association of County Boards in conjunction with Region V Superintendents has commissioned an annual award in memory of Kenneth Legats, named the Kenneth Legats Award for Visionary Leadership in Administration. This award is presented annually to an executive who has been duly nominated by the Board of Trustees and who over a career of more than twenty years has shown high ideals, vision, and moral leadership in administration of programs for people with developmental disabilities (DD).

As Mr. Marriott prepares to begin mentoring his replacement, after 35 years as the leader of the Pioneer Center, his colleagues at the state and local levels are voicing their appreciation for the exemplary leadership Mr. Marriott has brought to the DD system.  The award came as a surprise to the superintendent, who was kept in the dark as his secretary submitted the paperwork for his nomination. Several coworkers surprised Mr. Marriott during the lunch-time presentation of the award. While he was caught off guard, Mr. Marriott did give a brief acceptance speech, saying, “I am very appreciative of this award.  It has been an honor and privilege to serve our community.”

It’s worth noting that Mr. Marriott is the only dual recipient of an OACB award. He won the Betty Macintosh award in 2008 for advocating for individuals with developmental disabilities.

About Kenneth “Ken” Legats
Kenneth “Ken” Legats was the long-time superintendent of the Muskingum County Board of Developmental Disabilities.  During his decades of service to people with developmental disabilities, he was known as a quiet, competent leader.  He was well-known and well-liked at the Ohio Statehouse, where he used his strong relationships with policymakers to support meaningful decisions on behalf of those served by county boards of DD.  A visionary leader, he was instrumental in establishing the first Council of Government (COG) in Ohio’s county board of DD system – the Mid-East Ohio Regional Council of Government (MEORC) – which has since been replicated in all corners of the state.  The award is presented as a testament to his legacy and in memory of his leadership following his passing.


Rick Marriott (far right) accepts his award next to the Ohio Association for County Boards
Executive Director, Bridget Gargan (middle) and John 
Pekar, superintendent of the Fairfield and Vinton County Boards of Developmental Disabilities (far left). Photo courtesy of OACB/Erich Hiner.